Fergana Refinery Rehabilitation



Project number:


Business sector:

Natural resources

Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

14 Jan 1997



PSD disclosed:

18 Oct 1996

Project Description

Rehabilitation of Fergana Refinery to process high sulphur domestic crude and to improve the safety system and the environment.

Project objectives:

(i) To assist Uzbekistan in achieving its energy self sufficiency and to improve the balance of payments; (ii) to improve the environmental and safety standards of the refinery; and (iii) to increase the yield of the refinery.

The proceeds will be used to purchase and install a desulphurisation unit, to improve yield, to undertake safety and environmental improvements, to carry out civil works and to assist in the cost of expatriate services for the Project Management Unit.

Transition Impact

The project will accelerate policy reform, leading to commercialisation of the oil and gas sector, making it more market-oriented, and opening new private sector development opportunities.

The Client

The National Oil and Gas Corporation - Uzbekneftegas - is a fully integrated, state oil and gas company responsible for managing the entire oil and gas industry of Uzbekistan.

EBRD Finance

US$ 90 million (ECU 71 million) loan.

Project Cost

US$ 210.7 million (ECU 167.3 million).

Environmental Impact

This operation involves providing a loan of US$ 90 million to finance a rehabilitation programme for the Fergana oil refinery in Uzbekistan. The refinery changed the source of raw material from Russian crude oil, with a low sulphur content, to local crude extracted from the recently discovered Kokdumalak oil field, which has a high sulphur content. The major project components include the provision of a desulphurisation unit for diesel and sulphur recovery; safety improvement investments for an emergency flare system; refurbishment of water mains for fire water; a hydrogen sulphide detection system; waste management systems; and project management and technical cooperation. Financing will assist the Refinery in meeting international environmental and safety standards.

The project was screened B/1, requiring an Environmental Analysis to examine the impact of the Bank's investment, and an audit to determine the extent of environmental and health and safety risks and potential liabilities associated with the existing Refinery. The initial environmental investigations were supplemented by a specialised report on regulatory requirements and assistance to the Refinery for drafting the Environmental Action Plan. In addition, the Bank required an expert opinion and report on soil and groundwater contamination from hydrocarbon spills, an evaluation of the adequacy of current oil recovery and remediation activities, and potential environmental and financial implications from the contamination. These studies were undertaken by independent consultants following terms of reference established by the EBRD. Bank environmental staff visited the Refinery on several occasions to review the due diligence status and to meet with the environmental and health authorities.

The Refinery has significant environmental and safety problems, the majority of which will be addressed by the Bank's investment project. An Environmental Action Plan (EAP), which forms part of the loan documentation, has been agreed with the Refinery and approved by the relevant authorities. An enhanced oil recovery and remediation programme will be developed in the near term to improve the current oil recovery programme. An international remediation specialist will also be hired to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the on-going programme and to monitor it over an extended period of time. The project also provides a long-term international environmental advisor to work with the Refinery to develop and implement the required environmental programmes. Progress on the EAP, satisfactory to the Bank, will be required before each disbursement is made on the loan.

Key mitigation measures in the project

Air emissions: The project includes desulphurisation treatment and sulphur recovery units for fuel gas, which will bring sulphur emissions from the desulphurisation units into compliance with the standards of the EU Large Combustion Directive.

Waste water: The project includes repair or replacement of leaking pump seals; repair of other equipment; and a rail car management programme. All below-ground pipework, including firewater pipework, will be installed above ground to prevent /minimise any spillage. Final effluent will be monitored and analysed.

Sludge disposal: Costs of an incinerator are included in the project; however, other alternatives for sludge treatment and disposal will be investigated prior to any decision. An environmental impact assessment, satisfactory to the Bank, will be required as part of the investigation.

Soil and groundwater contamination: An enhanced oil recovery and remediation programme has been developed and forms part of the EAP. This will form part of a larger programme to address public health risks, upgrade Refinery management and training, and implement a long-term monitoring programme and a public communication programme. An international consultant specialising in oil recovery and remediation will be involved in setting up the programme and monitoring progress.

Rail cars: The rail car loading area is one of the significant sources of soil and groundwater contamination and a rail-car management programme will be established as a matter of top priority under the supervision of the independent environmental advisor.

Occupational health and safety: The project includes funding for health and safety equipment. A detailed health and safety survey will be conducted during the first year of the loan and an action plan satisfactory to the Bank will be developed.

Fire and flare safety: The proposed project includes safety improvement investments for refurbishment of fire mains and firefighting equipment, including hydrogen sulphide detection systems. The flare system represents a serious safety concern, and will be upgraded in the project

Energy efficiency: According to the Bank's technical experts, there is some scope for energy improvements, and where possible, these have been built into the project. The EAP provides for a routine review of energy efficiency.

Product standards: When the proposed desulphurisation unit (DSU) comes on stream, the Refinery will achieve a 0.1 per cent wt sulphur, thus meeting the proposed 1999 EU standards.

Solid sulphur production: The project includes installing a sulphur granulation and packaging facility.

Public consultation: Due to the extent of the off-site contamination and the impact on the regional groundwater and potential impact on surface water, a special public information component will form part of the revised remediation programme. In addition, the Refinery will develop a community interaction programme which will provide routine information about health, safety and environment to the public. The detail in this programme will be developed during the first year of the loan, when information from the health survey is available.

Monitoring: During the first two years of the project, the Bank will receive monthly progress reports on the implementation of the project and the Environmental Action Plan. Thereafter, the Bank will receive an annual report on environmental and health and safety issues, an independent environmental audit at three-year intervals for the duration of the Bank's loan, notification of any emergencies, significant incidents and accidents, and routine visits by a member of the Bank's environmental team.

Technical Cooperation

A technical cooperation programme will be initiated to plan and schedule refinery operations. In addition, a modern accounting and management information system will be established to introduce more efficient operations.


Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement: Tel: +44 20 7338 6794
Email: procurement@ebrd.com

General enquiries

EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

Public Information Policy (PIP)

The PIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations. Please visit the Public Information Policy page below to find out how to request a Public Sector Board Report.
Text of the PIP

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out how to submit a Request for review through our confidential online form, by email, mail or telephone. IPAM is available to discuss your concerns and answer any questions you may have about the submission or handling of Requests, which follow the Project Accountability Policy and Guidance. Requestors’ identities may be kept confidential, upon request.

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